If you are a convicted felon, trying to get your life back on track can seem almost impossible. From housing to jobs, simply getting on sound footing can be a tricky task. But what if you want to protect your home and family? Here is Piotrowski Law’s guide to gun ownership and convicted felons in Palm Beach County.
Gun Ownership and Convicted Felons in Florida
Gun ownership by convicted felons is covered under Florida Statute 790.23, which states:
1) It is unlawful for any person to own or to have in his or her care, custody, possession, or control any firearm, ammunition, or electric weapon or device, or to carry a concealed weapon, including a tear gas gun or chemical weapon or device, if that person has been:
(a) Convicted of a felony in the courts of this state;
(b) Found, in the courts of this state, to have committed a delinquent act that would be a felony if committed by an adult and such person is under 24 years of age;
(c) Convicted of or found to have committed a crime against the United States which is designated as a felony;
(d) Found to have committed a delinquent act in another state, territory, or country that would be a felony if committed by an adult and which was punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year and such person is under 24 years of age; or
(e) Found guilty of an offense that is a felony in another state, territory, or country and which was punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year.
Put simply, while Florida has much more liberal views on the issue of gun ownership compared with other states, if you are convicted of a felony, or were sentenced to a minimum of one year of punishment, you may not own a firearm, no matter the purpose or variety.
Civil Rights Restoration
While possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is not allowed, should a felon successfully have his civil rights restored, he also may regain their right to own firearms. If the individual has completed their sentence but did not automatically have their rights restored, they must apply in writing to the Executive Office of Clemency, and if approved, they will regain their right to own – and carry – a gun.
Possession of a Firearm
If law enforcement catches a felon with a firearm, the felon is subject to stiff penalties of a minimum of three years in prison, up to 15 years in prison, and up to $10,000 in fines. Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon can be either active or constructive possession.
Actual Possession: Actual possession of a firearm refers to any situation where a firearm is in the hand of a convicted felon, is in a container or case held by the said felon or is so close as to be within reaching distance of the felon.
Constructive Possession: Constructive possession refers to any situation where a convicted felon has control over any location where a firearm is located, such as a house, apartment, or business.
Contact an Experienced Defense Attorney Immediately
If you have been convicted of a felony in Palm Beach County, you need to know your rights when it comes to gun ownership and possession. If you are charged with possessing a firearm, contact an experienced Palm Beach defense Attorney right away.
Chad Piotrowski has an extensive background in aggressively defending his clients from charges ranging from marijuana possession to armed drug trafficking and murder. A former prosecutor in Miami-Dade County, Chad Piotrowski has the unique ability to anticipate prosecution strategies to help build a solid defense to help obtain the best possible outcome for his clients.
If you are looking for an experienced and passionate legal defense lawyer who will relentlessly fight for you, call Piotrowski Law today at (561) 614-5000 for your free consultation.